Acne & Lifestyle Blog

Thursday, 25 January 2018

A Minimal Skincare Routine For Acne-Prone Skin

When it comes to my skin I like to keep things pretty simple. I've gone through numerous skincare routines - ones that are your basic 3-step routine such as cleanser, toner and moisturiser and others that include serums, oils, exfoliating pads and all those fancy treatments. I've gone down the basic route and the lengthy route and feel like after much trial and error I am finally onto a routine I feel benefits my skin not only in appearance but also in texture.

Before I get into the products I use, let's start with a little backstory into my skin if you aren't aware already. When I was around 10/11 years old I started getting acne. I would say it was somewhat in the severe category as I had clumps and clumps of sore under the skin spots, blackheads, whiteheads, dry skin, clogged pores, oil build up and everything else that is associated with acne. My acne didn't start getting to a manageable stage until I was around 15/16 years old, I am now 21 years old and throughout the period of those 5-6 years, I tested out every product on the high street. To name a few I don't like; clean and clear and neutrogena - I found these products just irritated my skin and left it feeling and looking worse than if I didn't apply anything. I also went to the doctors to see if they could help with my situation, only to be told I could take a tablet every day but the disadvantage would be is that I couldn't go outside otherwise my face would turn black. So, being a student at school and having to walk between buildings 5 days a week, that wouldn't have been an option for me and therefore, I declined the medication I was offered.

After this, I started to look into products and ways in which I could personally help myself from the comforts of my own home. I have already written a post on 7 things you can do at home and out and about that can help reduce your acne, but other things I did was watch YouTube videos that focused on skincare and two of my personal favourites were Bubzbeauty whose videos I found really helpful and MyPaleSkin who teaches young and old people who have acne that they are beautiful no matter what anyone comments on your skin. Other things I found on my search for remedies were the sorts of food that would react with my skin which I'll talk about later in this post and that, if consumed in large amounts would react with my body and in turn produce a range of spots amongst my face, most common places being my cheeks, chin and jawline (I very very very rarely get any spots on my forehead and nose, but do tend to get very oily in this area). It also allowed me to figure out the right category of products that worked and didn't work for me. The likes of heavy creams, oils and products which have certain acids in them to help remove the dead skin cells are just a few to name which I can use but only in very small amounts.

Face mapping is also another solution I've seen some people use in order to establish what is causing breakouts in that specific area of your face. Face mapping if you aren't aware, basically colour highlights (like above) the area of your face and suggests what could potentially be causing that breakout. I haven't personally used face mapping to the extent it suggests to establish my breakouts, but from doing a tiny bit of research into it whenever I got a breakout that wouldn't be in its usual space it was surprising to see that both things related together. 

To give you an example of how I feel face mapping and my spots collerate together is firstly, I get spots on my chin mostly out of every other place. By then checking the face mapping chart above I can see that it has suggested what I would essentially expect which is breakouts. It then states external things you could potentially be doing that is causing those breakouts, then continues on to state the possible organ within your body it is effecting and what you're doing internally to affect that organ.

So, from the information I have received from this chart and whether it ties in with what I'm doing externally/internally, I can strongly say everything does relate together and it makes sense why. My main concern is breakouts which it suggests, then goes onto stating three main pointers which the stand out ones for me are makeup, which once I've come to the point in the day when I will remove it (I will always remove my makeup before bed!) I can either notice I have a new spot appearing or if I already have a spot I can notice it has become a lot more irritated. The other pointer that stands out for me is leaning my head on my hand, which I am guilty of doing every day especially if I am sat at a desk. Possible solutions to help with these are to check the ingredients of my makeup against each other to establish which ones are reacting with me and which ones are safe and from there make product purchases based on them not including one ingredient that is irritating my skin. As for leaning my head against my hand, I feel I am going to need some sort of personal assistant to stand next to me every second of the day and spray me with water or something whenever I accidentally do it. I feel that should be a job. Anyone else?

Internally, it is suggesting I have a poor diet with possible allergies or a history of digestive problems. Thankfully I don't have a history of digestive problems but I have found I can have a poor diet especially when I don't feel like cooking (anyone else guilty?). Allergies on the other hand, I feel I do not have any that have given me serious side affects to the point they need checked, but I have found foods such as dairy, red meat and a lot of sugar can cause really bad breakouts on my face and therefore try to avoid these as much as possible. Fun fact: dairy has been noted to be a food category which affects a lot of people from my research and if this appears to be an issue for you, then I would suggest trying to cut it down for a while and see if you notice anything different. My main concerns within this food category is milk and cheese. Yoghurts I can eat in small amounts.

My Skincare Routine

As mentioned before, I am one for keeping my skincare routine simple. Having acne can limit you to the amazing factors such products have due to ingredients that can easily clog pores and irritate your already existing blemishes. However, even the simplest of products can sometimes work out to be amazing in the end. I use this routine both morning and night besides the eye cream which I focus more on night time.

Cleanser: To start my routine off I like to use the Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish. I've been using this for around 6 years now and have never changed it out of my routine, besides from the couple of months I switched it to try out the Emma Hardie Amazing Face Balm - unfortunately it didn't work out as well. However, the cleanse & polish works like a dream. The product itself is a really lightweight cream which can easily be distributed across the entire face. It doesn't sting, irritate or make my face red. It does, however, aid my acne in slowly reducing down and keeping my breakouts until control. Until I started using this product religiously, I noticed my skin would breakout It was becoming a nuisance in itself. But after using this my skin has thanked me a lot.

I will normally use this cleanser alongside their muslin cloths as a gentle daily exfoliator and find it to be less abrasive compared to a normal exfoliator. It helps me create a smooth base and I find my makeup sits very well on top with not a dry patch in sight. After this, I will then go over my skin as a smoothing agent with the Emma Hardie Face Cloths just to make sure every bit of dirt and cleanser has been removed. 

Product Ingredients: Rosemary, Chamomile, Cocoa Butter, Eucalyptus Essential Oil

To read about my favourite products from the Liz Earle range, check out this post here.

Dark Spot Corrector: Kiehl's is not only a new brand I have recently started testing out, but introducing redness products into my routine is also a new venture. Their Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution is a product I wanted to try for ages after hearing that around 87% of women saw a more even skintone and that 89% of women saw a reduction in dark spot intensity, and when you suffer with acne this can be one of your biggest problems alongside blemishes. I won't talk much about this product as I am planning on doing a full review separately, but so far I have been testing it out for nearly a month and can say that I have began to notice a slight difference in my skin. It doesn't irritate my spots or cause any redness from irritation, the smell is manageable and the product itself is easy to distribute due to the applicator it comes with. But, make sure you come back within the next couple of weeks for a further review!

Product Ingredients: Potent Complex of Activated C, White Birch, Peony

Moisturiser: Keeping things pretty simple with Simple Skincare (see what I did there?) in the moisturiser category, I have been using their hydrating light moisturiser which promises 12 hours of moisturisation. This product is simple, lightweight and is cheap and cheerful - everything you need and more and plus, it works! When I first picked this up I was a bit apprehensive about the way high street products would react with my skin (in the past they've made my skin worse), but after trialling and testing more higher end brands such as the Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief Moisturiser and finding they worked amazing and slowly began falling in love more and more with them, I couldn't possibly keep up the amount of money I was spending on moisturiser with everything else I had to pay for, especially with the frequency I was using it at and wanted to look for a cheaper solution - and I found it! This moisturiser does what it says on the tube, it provides me with all day moisture. It helps keep the oils in my skin at bay and also works amazingly as a base for my makeup even without a primer. It sinks beautifully into the skin, doesn't leave a greasy residue and especially doesn't clog the pores. For £4.19 this product is insanely good and I don't think I ever want to change back to high end moisturisers ever again (but I will, because I love trying out new products).

Product Ingredients: Pro-Vitamin B5, Vitamin E, Glycerin, Borage Seed Oil

Eye Cream: The last product within my current skincare routine is the Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream. The product within this photo is a sample so don't get confused as to how much product you get for the price tag, as I'm sure I would if I seen the photo and the hefty price tag. I recently received this in my foundation order and was very much excited to give it a go. Eye creams in the past haven't always worked for me and have either left under the skin bruising, given me dry skin around the eyes or just generally didn't do anything. This one, unfortunately, falls under the fact it works amazingly at hydrating my eyes with the thick consistency when I go to sleep, but I find when I wake up my eyes can sometimes feel dryer than normal which has led to cracked skin around my eyes at some points. I don't know whether this is because my skin has literally drank up every last little drop to the point it is trying to suck up more, or my eye area needs a certain type of cream to help it. But in the end, I will be using this up due to it only being a small amount and find it helps me sleep better but in the long run it won't be sitting in my routine for very long.


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